Promoter hits back at Dublin City Council over handling of Brooks licence

The row over Garth Brooks rumbles on with the promoters accusing Dublin City Council of recklessness for failing to advise them not to proceed with five concerts.

Aiken Promotions is defending their own handling of the situation.

They say the suggestion they had behaved recklessly "besmirches a company that has made a significant contribution to the culture and economy of Ireland for 53 years".

In a strongly worded statement issued late last night, Aiken Promotions hit back at its critics and at Dublin City Council officials.

The concert promoter says it was "shocked" when the licence was not granted for all five Garth Brooks concerts, given that its talks with the council were all about how to lessen the impact the five-day event would have on residents.

It says it expected the licence to include conditions that would minimise the disruption to residents.

It claims to have done everything to find a solution - and says it was "discouraged by council officials in the approaches it made to facilitators and politicians".

Aiken Promotions also jumps to Garth Brooks defence - saying his response to the three-day licence was "not an all-or-nothing ultimatum, but an expression of genuine concern for his fans".

It claims the country star has been misrepresented as a person and as an artist, something Aiken Promotions describes as "scandalous".

Full statement from Aiken Promotions

Aiken Promotions welcomes the decision of the City Council to support the motion to ask the City Manager to reconsider his position on granting permission for 5 Garth Brooks concerts. However we would like to make the following points,

· At all times Aiken Promotions followed the process as laid down under the event licencing procedure.

· While Council Officials may have followed a proper process, we believe that the decision was not correct.

· The demand for tickets for The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event was unprecedented, selling almost one entire show to audiences from outside Ireland.

· If Aiken Promotions have been ‘reckless’, then the process itself is ‘reckless’ and any perceived ‘recklessness’ by Aiken Promotions must equally apply to a Council that did not advise Aiken Promotions not to proceed with the 5 concerts when they were informed. Comments such as ‘reckless behaviour’ besmirch the reputation of a company that for 53 years have made a significant contribution to the culture and economy of Ireland.

· All of the discussions with Council Officials in relation to the 5 concerts was about how the impact of the 5 concerts might be mitigated. Therefore the decision was a complete shock.

· Aiken Promotions has always acknowledged that 5 concerts would have an impact on the community. In our experience this impact is always reflected in the conditions applying to the licence, as it is in every event.

· Immediately after the licence decision Aiken Promotions sought alternatives that might facilitate the two cancelled shows. However this show has been specifically designed for Croke Park and it was unsuitable to any other venue. We also looked at sites such as Phoenix Park but these sites were not feasible because of the 10 week requirement for the licencing process.

· Garth Brooks response to the licence for the 3 rather than the 5 concerts was not an ultimatum, it was simply an expression of genuine concern for his fans.

· The complete misrepresentation of Garth Brooks as a person and as an artist is ill informed and is scandalous.

· We have responded to a range of facilitators and politicians in an attempt to find a way of presenting the 5 concerts. These approaches have not been encouraged by Council Officials.

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